Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Waldorf, MD
Clinton Portis Interview -- Part 1
Clinton Portis Uncensored! « 106.7 The Fan – DC Sportsradio
Clinton Portis might go down as the most controversial Redskins player of all-time, and when it is over, he very well may be the best running back ever in the illustrious history of the Redskins, depending on your view. |
On Wednesday, I was invited to his beautiful Northern Virginia home to speak candidly, uncensored and completely unrestricted with “CP” and I believe we covered just about everything that one-hour would allow.
Here is PART ONE of my 55-plus minute interview with Clinton Portis. This is only about the first 17 minutes of the session, so I will be adding throughout the days ahead.
We will also have a complete video shoot of the interview up shortly, pending a few last details to be taken care of. Enjoy and please check out the Clinton Portis Foundation and Clinton Portis : Official Site for more on what Portis is all about.
106.7 The FAN: You have been fully cleared and working hard. How are you feeling overall and any lingering issues?
CP: “Oh man, I feel great. I’m just at the point, of moving past that. I don’t think any doctor can guarantee you that it won’t happen again. It’s just a matter of going out – if it’s god will — if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. I don’t think it’s going to hamper me to a point where i need to play scared or I need to play worried about long-term effects. If it happens, it just wasn’t meant for me.”
106.7 The FAN: Do you worry about the long-term effects and burying your head?
CP: “I don’t sit and think if I bury my head – what’s going to happen. I think that the shot I ended up taking, you couldn’t time that up again if you tried. If it happens again, it happens. We’ll deal with it at that point. For right now, I’m just looking forward to being on the field again.”
106.7 The FAN: If you suffered another concussion – would you consider your quality of life more important then ever carrying the ‘rock’ again?
CP: “If it happened again, that would be the 3rd time in my career. I’ve been playing football since 9th grade. It happened once in college, once in the NFL. It would be the 3rd time. I think Troy Aikman had 11 of them, so I have 8 more to go!”
106.7 The FAN: What do you remember about the hit in Atlanta and how much did it stink that your season was over so quickly when you were fairly healthy?
CP: “I didn’t remember much. I don’t remember what happened. I was trying to describe ‘I think I got hit from both sides’ and they was like ‘Oh you got hit from both sides.’ It was a lesson on life. I never even went back and sat down and watched it. I think it took like 2 or 3 weeks and Coach Zorn finally showed it to me and I was like ‘wow that’s what happened’ but other than that, really my focus is looking ahead. Everything that happened in the past, is over with and is the past. You can’t go and change it, you can’t harp on it, I’m just really looking forward to this season.”
106.7 The FAN: How would you describe a 4-12 injury plagued season — could you have ever imagined it?
CP: “I have one great word to describe last year, It’s OVER. It’s over and done with. It definitely did not go the way team or the fans wanted it to go. You sit back and get an opportunity to observe and report. There were a lot of changes made and that was needed. Last year is over, this year is here.”
106.7 The FAN: Were you and Coach Jim Zorn on the page football wise and professionally? Can you clear up all the issues?
CP: “I don’t think it really needs to be clear up. As far as Coach Zorn, he’s got an opportunity to help out the Baltimore Ravens and I think he will be a great addition to that coaching staff. I think it was just timing. It was a lot of intangibles, a lot of stuff that people wouldn’t know. You can’t just blame and point a finger at Coach Zorn. It was a lot of stuff in between me and Coach Zorn. A lot of people thought I was going above, which I never did. It’s life. I wish him nothing but the best. I got an opportunity to know his son. He is a great guy. I don’t think the situation he ended up being here was meant for him. He is a praying man and I think God going to put him where he need to be.”
106.7 The FAN: Did you feel bad for Zorn when they stripped him of his play-calling?
CP: “There were so much going on. The outside world would never know. You just had to be there to know what was going on. It was just an unfortunate situation.”
106.7 The FAN: Your relationship with Jason Campbell who is now in Oakland. Did you have a chance to mend fences and repair your relationship?
CP: “Man, me and Jason were born in the same hospital. We from the same area. What people fail to realize, what me and Jason got going on, if far and few between and just being teammates. I think Jason knew I always laid it on the line for him. I always stood up for him. I think Jason is a great dude. If I had a little girl, that was Jason’s age – that’s the type of guy I want her to marry.”
“The comments, I just said I wouldn’t pick him and put to be in that role to be that vocal guy to speak up on. Everybody took it and ran with it. Everybody wanted to run me out-of-town. People got a short memory, and what you have you done for me lately. They forget about the work you put in, the sacrifices you make.”
“For Jason, I think Jason’s getting an opportunity to get out of D.C. Not only to get out D.C. but to get an opportunity to get to the West Coast. It’s a great opportunity. He’s gonna help the Raiders out a lot. He’s athletic, he’s a great guy. I think what’s best for Jason and the organization and for everybody else, is just to move on. Start the new chapter.”
106.7 The FAN: Was working with Donovan McNabb at the first mini-camp a surreal experience for you or just football?
CP: “It’s just football. I wasn’t think ‘Oh Donovan McNabb handed me the football.’ He’s a proven winner. I remember in college the stories of Donovan destroying the University of Miami. We used that as motivation, when we went back to play Syracuse. Just knowing and having Donovan, it’s a different feel. You are so used to Jason, and building a bond with Jason. All of a sudden; Donovan comes in, he steps in and like already know this offense. He already know everybody in the huddle and just took control. [There are] a lot of things different this year, and we just gotta go out and play.”
106.7 The FAN: Do you believe in Donovan when your done, late in the game a little more because of what he has done?
CP: “Yeah you do. You gotta believe the quarterback at the helm can get it done. Everybody I think having Donovan and knowing how many times he has gotten it done, and his track record of five championship games. Everybody hot because he’s never been to the big one, but how many people get to the championship game. If we can get to the championship game, I promised Donovan — he’ll have some help. If you get us to the championship game, somebody else will take over. I’ll definitely be looking forward to that. I don’t think he had a lot of talent in Philly, but he made it all work.”
106.7 The FAN: This is the best running game Donovan McNabb has ever had. What does that do for him — considering Philly used Brian Westbrook in a different way?
CP: “I think everything opens up for each other and goes hand in hand. Speaking of the running backs, I think our backfield being loaded with proven talent; that’s a wonderful thing. Then you have a proven quarterback, you have receivers that are eager. You have proven tight-ends. You have a line that has been upgraded. You have a lot of guys that want to prove, that they still got it. Donovan want to prove he still got it. Me, myself, Larry and Willie — all of us want to prove we still got it.”
“Chris Cooley looking forward to coming back, you got Fred D. (Davis) who emerged as a new guy. Then you have Devin, Santana and Malcolm. You look at our offense, and it’s totally different. What do you respect? You respect the passing game or the running game. I think our system, our scheme go hand in hand. You think we’re going to run it, and then we have an opportunity to throw it. You think we’re going to throw it — then we’ll run it down your throat. So, pick your poison!”
106.7 The FAN: Why is the Mike Shanahan style of zone running and blocking so effective? Is it the scheme or is the talent in scheme?
CP: “I think you got to have to have players as well. The scheme is outstanding. Just hearing how Kyle calling the plays. The excitement of Kyle running this offense and how creative he is. I think you look at the zone scheme, and it’s possibilities. If it is not here, you can go there. It’s not just a situation of ‘here you go where we trying to put it’ and if it is not there, make do.”
106.7 The FAN: A lot of critics are saying Clinton Portis is done? Are you capable of being a 1,500 yard back or do you even have to have that because of your depth?
CP: “I think Clinton Portis can go past 1,500 yards. If you go down and look at my stats, they have been consistent. I’m the youngest back in our backfield. All of that ‘oh he’s got a lot of carries’ — them carries last for that season. It’s not wear and tear. Once you go through the off-season, your rebuild, you re-mold. I can’t tell you a hit from last year, that still lingering on me. I feel fresh. I feel just out of college. I think I’ve been blessed and fortunate enough to have a great career, to come out and give it everything I got.”
“Whether people like it or not — knowing that I leave it on the field. Blood, sweat and tears. I’ve always been the focal point of this franchise. That’s what people fail to realize. It’s not like we line up and have Donovan McNabb at quarterback, Randy Moss at receiver and well – it’s like we stop Clinton Portis and we got a chance to win.”
“I’ve been in a lot of situations where I was just taken out of the game. I wasn’t given an opportunity, a track record will tell you – 20, 25 touches — I think our record is 27 – 3.”
“I don’t feel worried, and I’m not worried about the critics. I think I have a lot to prove and just for the simple fact to say ‘I told you so.” They feel like I’m over and done with. I feel like I am 28, and having fun. That’s the main thing, and that is most exciting. Just knowing, I can go back to having fun. Knowing all the B.S. and the behind the scene that people don’t know about.”
“I know I’m going to get shot straight. Coach Shanahan, Bobby T (Turner), Kyle — or anybody got a problem with me — they are going to come and address that. We’re going to speak it out. I’m just looking to just stepping on the field.”
“A lot of people are like ‘oh he can’t do this or he can’t do that,’ I was the last single back left. Everybody else has been in two or three back systems. [I was] the last of a dying breed. I think for myself this is a good opportunity. Knowing Larry and Willie are behind me, I don’t have to go out and get it done. If I am not on that day, they gotta get it done. I think I’ll be on, and I’m looking forward to that opportunity.”
106.7 The FAN: Has the new coaching staff asked you to slim down a bit and get back to what you used to be in Denver and at the University of Miami?
CP: “It’s not that they asked me. I came up with the decision, to get back down. I was playing tough man football. No matter how you cut it, with Coach Gibbs or Coach Zorn, we were playing tough man football. I think Coach Gibbs motto was just to be the toughest. I think the players adapted it, lived and died by that. We gonna be the toughest team on the field. Nobody who came here and felt like, we were going to run over the Washington Redskins. Whether it was win, lose or draw – you left out of here with most of your players missing practice that next week.”
“This whole organization went through a lot. All of the coaching changes. Being hit by the injury bug. I played behind the lines that got injured. Well we loss Chris Samuels, we lost Jon Jansen, we lost Randy Thomas. I was always part of those makeshift line. I still performed, I still got it done, I still gave everything I had. You look at the other top guys in the league, they solid. Their line, are there from week one — to wherever they end up in the playoffs. You look at me – we played with a makeshift line probably 6 out of the 7 years that we had the same linemen started off week one and finish that week 17.”
“I don’t discredit anything I’ve done in this league. I think a true football guru would know the situations, I’ve been in. I’m not harping for any appreciation or attention. I think, I just have to go out and get it done and have fun doing it.”
Coming up in Part II – Clinton Portis and I discuss Mike Shanahan, Dan Snyder, Mike Sellers, the University of Miami and the legacy of Sean Taylor.